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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As attention and concern grows regarding the spread of the delta variant across the globe, local health leaders are warning Oklahomans about new symptoms that come with the latest variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting drastic increases across the country in the number of people contracting COVID-19.

On Friday, the CDC reported the current seven-day moving average of daily new cases increased 69.3% compared to the previous week’s numbers.

Also, the seven-day average of new hospital admissions for COVID-19 is 35.8% higher than the same time the previous week.

Officials also stress that deaths have increased 26.3% compared to the previous seven-day moving average.

As hospitals begin to fill up with younger, unvaccinated patients, doctors are stressing that there are new symptoms you should watch for as delta spreads.

“The delta variant has slightly different symptoms compared to the original virus. You may not get the loss of taste & smell. The delta variant could cause issues like a cough, shortness of breath, a fever, body aches, congestion, and more. Please get tested if you have these,” Dr. George Monks wrote on Twitter.

As a result, many patients may not realize they have COVID-19 until their symptoms intensify unless they get tested.

Experts stress that the delta variant spreads easily and it takes less of the virus to make someone sick.

“This Delta variant is more deadly than the original,” said Dr. Mary Clarke, Oklahoma State Medical Association President.

In order to protect yourself from the latest variant, officials stress that you should continue to wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a mask, and get vaccinated.

Dr. Monks says that even if you are fully vaccinated, it would still be a good idea to wear a mask in indoor settings or crowded areas.

“If you are still hesitant or have some questions about the Covid vaccine, please talk to your physician. The Covid vaccine is safe and very effective at keeping you out of the hospital and keeping you alive. Getting Covid is risky,” Monks wrote.